15 Sep 2010

Arnold on trade mission to East Asia

11:13 am on 15 September 2010

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger of California is on a trade visit to East Asia to try to drum up trade with the region and attract investment.

California is the eighth largest economy in the world but it faces a budget deficit of $US19 billion.

Mr Schwarzenegger is visiting Japan and South Korea looking for help with infrastructure and markets for Californian goods, as well as promoting Silicon Valley and tourism.

According to the governor, trade is critical to California's economy. Before the mission, he told journalists that he would serve as "salesman-in-chief" during the trip.

"California is uniquely positioned to take advantage of the exploding Asian markets," he said.

"China, Japan and Korea ... represent 1.5 billion population. This is 1.5 billion potential consumers for our products."

The BBC reports Mr Schwarzenegger came in for criticism before he left Caslifornia that he would be away during a difficult time for the state. Two months into the financial year, it still has not agreed a budget.

The last stop on the trade mission was South Korea. While there, Mr Schwarzenegger signed another agreement to strengthen trade ties with the Kyunggi Province.